Real Time Payments Network

The clearing house has released business principles that outline the operation of the real time payments (RTP) Network. A full set of guidelines is here. These are important inasmuch as they set out key points, among them most importantly: TCH runs the RTP network as a utility for the benefit of the industry and RTP fees shall continue to be flat for all participants regardless of size, and shall not include volume discounts or minimum volume requirements. It does though, contains a super-clause, which is typical of the monopolistic “free market” here in America. In an effort to restrain competition, … Continue reading Real Time Payments Network

‘Why does a check take as long to clear today as it did in 1982?’

The latest American Banker Podcast mirrors my recent post about Tech taking over the banks. Aaron Klein, a Brookings Institute fellow, makes a compelling argument for why the American banking system needs to be updated, unlike my general frustration, knowing that better is perfectly possible. Among other reasons, Klein points out that people who are unfortunate enough to have their bank account balance at or near zero, deserve better. They need to know how long a check will take to process, how long before the deposit is final, and when they can plan payments for bills based on availability of funds. … Continue reading ‘Why does a check take as long to clear today as it did in 1982?’

Faster Payments – Will tech eat the banks?

At last the big, big tech companies are driving the US Federal Reserve to sponsor and get behind a faster payments initiative. Amazon, Apple, Google, PayPal, Square, Stripe and Intuit, have all co-signed a letter supporting the the Fed being in charge of the development of a system that can connect all the banks and credit unions in the U.S. to speed up payments. I’ve long complained here that the US System is laughably out of date, and the system Automated Clearing House and its associated network is still loosely based on the delivery times of the Pony Express and … Continue reading Faster Payments – Will tech eat the banks?

Retail vs Investment Banking

I’ve no idea what long term this change will make, but was delighted to receive this notification from my UK Bank, first direct, and HSBC subsidiary. Something we are (very) unlikely to see here in the US in the near future. What is says is We wanted to let you know that in line with new regulations introduced after the global financial crisis, later this year HSBC will be changing the way it’s structured in the United Kingdom (UK). The new rules mean all banks with deposits of UKP 25bn or more will have to keep their “retail banking” business seperate … Continue reading Retail vs Investment Banking

Medical Billing update

After spending another hour yesterday making calls to try to come to a conclusion over the 2x appointments and treatment I had for my leg wound back in August and early September. I’ve been applying the lessons learned, experience I’ve had resolving my billing for my heart attack, which i close to, but not yet finally resolved. Here are some tweets I sent after getting off the phone yesterday. Still battling the medical billing systems. Hint, don’t get diverted to applying for financial assistance when you have no insurance, until you’ve negotiated everything down to minimum for self pay, and … Continue reading Medical Billing update

Just checking in…

My disdain for the US Banking system should be obvious to anyone who follows my blog. Their attempts at modernizing, really are just “lipstick on a pig”. While most countries are looking for ways to get out of the check processing business, and many to avoid it all together, using micro-banking and straight-through-processing to enable both a more effective user experience, and also reduce risk inherent in a real-time banking system. The UK even initially announced an end-date for the use of “cheques” in 2018, although that was later withdrawn. It’s still possible to transfer money between accounts in different … Continue reading Just checking in…

Time for a new deal?

Involuntary under-employment, the bitter price of austerity; Involuntary migration, the bitter fruit of concetrating decent jobs in small areas. Neither globalization nor electricfied fences can fix this. It is delusional to believe that Britain or America can prosper sustainably when neighbouring nations are in a crisis. Subtlety and leadership we cant expect from Trump and May. This is a great series of short video op-eds from BBC Newsnight. Continue reading Time for a new deal?

Brexit and the economy

There are plenty of people who think the current state of the UK economy is a cause for celebration.  Lots of numbers up including employment. This belies the uncertainty ahead,  and while the UK Pound continues to be at an effective 20% discount to the US Dollar,  resources,  people,  products and services in the UK are effectively cheap. While this is likely to continue,  those celebrating it as a result inside the UK should think again. In so much as individuals and business in the UK can acquire all the raw materials they need for manufacturing and business in the … Continue reading Brexit and the economy

Everything wrong with the US Financial System in one man

I’ve been avoiding blogging during the election cycle to stay away from turning my blog into another pile of steaming bile. The more I learn about Strumpf(any coincidence to John Olivers #makdonalddrumpfagain purely coincidental), the former CEO of Wells Fargo, the more he becomes the poster boy for everything wrong with the “too big to fail” banks. The head of any organization sets the strategy, and the tone of the implementation of the organizations strategy. Bad ones do only one, or neither. Strumpf seems to be in the later category based on his testimonial to a House panel on the … Continue reading Everything wrong with the US Financial System in one man

Shared, Co-operative banking

I’m still mystified over banking here in the USA, some 20-years after leaving the industry in 1986. Arcane rules; differences from State to State; duplication, overlap and the too-big-to-fail banks. I’ve complained here before. My current frustration comes from trying to maintain two different credit union accounts. One in Texas with Amplify FCU (the ex-IBM Employee credit union) and another in Colorado, Elevations FCU. Elevations web and mobile apps are far better than those from Amplify. But both seem to be “hand-tied” by rules that were credited back in the 1980’s. Today’s frustration is summarised in these tweets. 1. Credit … Continue reading Shared, Co-operative banking